Dec 032012
 

 

PHOTO OF ANTONIA CRANE BY SHEILA HIBER

I’m staying in a dark Motel 6 in room 205 off Highway 111.The shades are drawn. It’s a dark and warm desert night. Someone is rolling their luggage on plastic wheels back and forth in front of the door as if they’re determining which room they should bury the fingertips of their dead. I hope not room 205. In places like this, bad things happen.

I’m applying bright turquoise eye shadow on my lids the color of striped mini-skirts I wore in 7th grade. Turquoise reminds me of Love’s Baby soft and Breck shampoo. I curled my hair and burned my ear those mornings in Mom’s pink bathroom waiting for “99 Luftballoons” to play on the radio again before school. Mom was a big believer in baths and I inherited her soaker gene. She filled glass vases with red and silver bath beads. She could build a robot out of erotic oil and bath salts clumped together in pink chalky balls. She morphed our DNA with her bubble bath, soaking and soaking while she assessed. The steam from that room was so epic I expected tendrils to slip through the crack under the door.

But this eye shadow would not sit on the shelf next to her incandescent body powder. This desert shadow was from Target down the road. I smear the lid with a cheap blue film. I know there’s a really good chance they won’t hire me but at least my eyes will sparkle nice.

I’m supposed to have a teaching job. I’m supposed to be happily married. I’m supposed to have a book. I’m supposed to have a full time gig. I’m supposed to be self-supporting. I’m supposed to have kids. I’m supposed to own something.
I’m supposed to know how to do this mainstream work thing. I don’t.

It’s been exactly one year since I’ve stripped. In that time, I’ve played a stripper in two movies and worked as a technical consultant for Jill Soloway’s dark comedic stripper film “Afternoon Delight,” but I have not danced for dough. I’ve not spread a man’s feet apart so I can squeeze in between them. I’ve not been on the pole.

I’m nervous. One look at my ID and they’ll turn me away. On tough girls, terror of rejection is dressed up like an over-smiling prom queen candidate, but never believe that. In my turquoise and pink spandex glory— I’m skinless. A part of me hopes this Motel 6 will be the end of the line but even the fart smells of our broccoli and hummus dinner on counter charms me. I focus on the task at hand: Eyelash glue.
$1.99 Sugar body spray also from Target.
My tax bill to the IRS=$337.00

Desert Showgirls is less than a mile away from our luxurious digs and like many places I’ve worked before, the parking lot is not full of cars—a bad sign.

We walk in the door like we’re really grateful to own the place and a cute blonde chick with rugged lines on her eyes puts her arms around my shoulders. “How old are you?” she asks. (I lie and tell her 40.)
“I’m forty-two,” she admits (three seconds from my age). I feel like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler when he knows better but does it anyway.

A big black guy younger than my nephew hands me a job application even though I just told him I worked here a year ago.

The blonde is taking her break with me. She looks older than forty-two but who am I to say.

“I made $250 on Thanksgiving just playing pool,” she crosses her arms. She must have kids and some dogs she rescued from the pound. I thought of all of the Thanksgivings, Valentine’s Days and Christmases I spent on the laps of strangers in clubs in San Francisco and that specific lonely ache of holiday sex work. Chasing the holiday spenders hoping for a big mint, but it never once was what I hoped for. It was always just a little more lonely than was reasonable.

And now. It’s Thanksgiving weekend and I’m dancing at a titty bar in the middle of the desert that attracts military guys from the base in 29 Palms and prehistoric golphers—completely in my element.

The black body builder dude did look at my ID and at me. Back at my ID. Back to me but he just shook his head and said I didn’t look my age at all.

The man returned my ID and took my filled out application while I watched the women dance on stage.

I have missed women’s bodies. How they uncoil and sashay on stage climbing the pole like savage hunters after blood in the ceiling. And customers are a place to mine stories, a place to fall into.

I sat with a woman who was so pretty like Heidi Klum. She had the word “Warrior” tattooed on her forearm so I got curious about it and waited for the story. Her boyfriend was short and charismatic with silver hair and had a gadget fixing business and he told me that I was exactly like him because I never give up and probably I had a bad childhood.

“I know you. You’re just like me,” he said. He sat very close to her and held her one free hand.

I wanted to tell him I’m not competitive, just hungry, but maybe that was his point. After all, I glanced at the strippers’ dances and made sure that I had more pen marked “X’s” than the other girls on the chart. The ones who had lots of “X’s” I studied hard for gesture and technique. Once we were are all little girls just doing our best, then things got ugly.

I didn’t want to hear about the man’s childhood or mine. I wanted to know about the “Warrior” on his Heidi Klum’s forearm. She got up to find the bathroom.

So when she was gone I asked him. The boyfriend swirled the gold liquid in his glass and leaned over so he was speaking directly into my ear and breathed jack and coke in my face. He told me a serial rapist guy who had killed 7 women abducted her when she was 19 and she was the only one who escaped. He told me that she had a daughter named August who didn’t know. I thought again about all of the little girls doing their best and things getting ugly like knives and projectile vomit and rape ugly.

She appeared again and sat down and crossed her Heidi Klum legs that were sweetly draped in a flow-y pant that looked more like a skirt. Maybe those things are called “skorts.” I wanted to hear the story from her, but I didn’t ask. She grinned the familiar sad girl grin and held her drink too tightly and I knew it was true. And when I danced for her I kissed her neck so softly that it’s possible she never even noticed she was kissed.

ANTONIA CRANE is the only person from Humboldt County who doesn’t smoke weed. She teaches creative writing to incarcerated teenagers in Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Salon, The Heroin Chronicles (edited by Jerry Stahl), The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Review, Black Clock, Slake, PANK, ZYZZYVA and other places. She wrote a memoir about the sex industry and her mother’s cancer called “SPENT” and hopes to find a home for it soon.

You can follow Antonia on:

TWITTER | FACEBOOK | WWW.ANTONIACRANE.COM | THE CITRON REVIEW

 

Nov 302012
 
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A new — and almost entirely unreported — study about anal sex and pain shows how little we really know about it

That anal sex remains taboo may explain why a study about anodyspareunia – that is, pain during anal penetration – received little attention when it was published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy. The study should have turned heads: It was the first research on anodyspareunia among women; it was conducted by a well-respected scientist (Dr. Aleksander Stulhofer from the University of Zagreb); and it was centered on young women and sex. That’s often the kind of research that attracts media attention (Young women sex! They get pregnant! They give oral sex! You get the picture …). However, anal sex remains such a strong taboo that this otherwise important study barely turned a head.

Except it did turn mine. Here’s why. In an incredibly short period of time, anal sex has become a common part of Americans’ sex lives. As of the 1990s, only about one-quarter to one-third of young women and men in the U.S. had tried anal sex at least once. Less than 20 years later, my research team’s 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior found that as many as 40-45 percent of women and men in some age groups had tried anal sex. With its rising prevalence, I felt it was important to devote a chapter of my first book, “Because It Feels Good,” to anal health and pleasure — only to find that a magazine editor wouldn’t review it because the topic of anal sex was “not in the best interest of our readership.” Even though nearly half of American women in some age groups have done it! She added, “In the correct circles, I personally will be suggesting the book to those with whom I can share such a resource.”

Hmm. The correct circles. Which ones would those be? The ones where scores and scores of women openly sit around talking about anal sex between glasses of wine?

So taboos persist and anal sex remains hush-hush even though more people are doing it. What changed to make it more common, anyway? It’s not entirely clear – after all, rates of masturbation, vaginal sex, oral sex and other sexual practices don’t seem to have changed too much. However,  it’s commonly thought that the widespread access to porn played a role. Some research has found that anal sex was shown in 56 percent of sex scenes studied even though national data of real people’s sex lives show that fewer than 5 percent of Americans had anal sex during their most recent sexual experience.

Honest, evidence-based answers to questions about anal sex are difficult to come by. You’d think we would know more about a behavior that’s become a common part of Americans’ sex lives – one that, for all its potential pleasures, remains among the riskiest sex acts when it comes to spreading sexually transmissible infections (STI) including HIV. Yet there is strikingly little scientific research on anal sex. The list of what we don’t know about anal sex is far longer than the list of what we do. This makes it difficult for sex educators to feel truly confident in answering people’s very real and important questions.

This is also what made the recent University of Zagreb study so valuable. They surveyed more than 2,000 women ages 18 to 30 about their experiences with anal sex. Building on limited early research about anal pain among men who have sex with men, the researchers asked about women’s experiences with pain. This was critical because, as much as we often talk about anal sex possibly hurting, and lubricant possibly minimizing pain or discomfort during anal sex, there is almost no research on women’s experiences of anal sex. One exception is a study that I conducted with my research team at Indiana University in which we gave six different lubricants to more than 2,400 women and asked them to use them during their masturbation, vaginal sex and/or anal sex activities. Among our interests was whether using a lubricant helped to make sex – including anal sex – more pleasurable, more satisfying and less painful (it did).

The Zagreb team found that about half of women (49 percent) stopped their first experience of anal intercourse because it was too painful to continue – not surprising considering 52 percent of women report not even using lubricant when they first had anal sex! An additional 17 percent of women also experienced pain or discomfort during their first anal sex, but didn’t stop their partner. Only about one-quarter of women said their first experience with anal sex was pleasant.

That said, nearly two-thirds tried anal sex again (hopefully this time with lubricant), continuing on another occasion. Those women who found it positive, pleasurable and pain-free were more likely to try it again. About 9 percent of women who had anal sex at least twice in the past year said that they experienced pain every single time. Based on what I know about women who experience pain during vaginal intercourse, my guess is that chronic pain during anal sex is even more common – perhaps hovering in the 10-15 percent range – once the women who actively avoid it because it always hurts are taken into account.

This 9 percent figure is important. It tells us that a similar proportion of women experience pain consistently during anal sex as experience pain consistently during vaginal penetration. That’s right: Somewhere around 10 percent of women experience pain during vaginal intercourse or even during daily activities like sitting down or riding in the car. The 9 percent number is also close to the 10-14 percent range that’s been identified as the proportion of men who have sex with men who experience pain during anal sex. And though the Zagreb study asked women what sense they made of their pain (most blamed themselves or their sexual practices, suggesting their pain was linked to not feeling fully relaxed, inadequate anal foreplay, or not using sufficient lubricant), the fact is that we still don’t know clinically what’s causing their pain.

It may be that, like the vagina and vulva, the anuses of some women and men respond to touch or penetration in painful ways and for unknown reasons. It may be that some of these women and men have skin disorders, such as lichen sclerosus, which can affect genital skin (including anal skin), increasing the likelihood of discomfort, pain or tearing. Certainly lack of information and education is at the root of some people’s pain, but it’s probably not the primary cause for everyone. Some women and men do everything “right” – they use gobs of lubricant, they start out slowly, relax, communicate well with their partner, avoid desensitizing or numbing gels/creams – and yet it still hurts. Do they have an underlying medical condition that’s contributing to the pain? Wonky nerve receptors that scream in pain rather than perceive penetration as neutral or pleasurable? We don’t know.

In case you’re wondering, we also don’t know much about the long-term effects of anal intercourse. Certainly enough people have been having anal sex over enough generations that if anything were seriously dangerous about anal sex, we would know it by now. But as for questions about how regular anal sex, rough anal sex or insufficiently lubricated anal sex might ultimately affect the likelihood of a woman experiencing rectal prolapse or of a woman or man experiencing various anal or rectal health issues, we don’t know because no one has studied these kinds of things. It’s 2012 and pretty much all we know about anal sex is that lots of people have tried it, there’s a higher degree of risk for STI/HIV transmission (compared to vaginal sex or oral sex), many people have found it painful on occasion, many people also find it pleasurable sometimes, and about one in 10 women and men experience pain during anal sex on a regular basis. Much of the research involving HPV and anal cancer is focused on men who have sex with men – which is needed — even though more women in the U.S. have received anal sex than the number of men who have received anal sex. That’s not to say that anal cancer isn’t important to study among men – it very much is the case – but women get anal cancer, too, and we need to know more about risk and protective factors (related: check out this I Have Butt What? blog by a brave anal cancer survivor named Michelle).

Knowledge gap, anyone?

Even though most people who have had anal sex engage in it only occasionally, anal sex is a fairly common practice. And if people are going to engage in sexual behavior, then they deserve enough information to help make that behavior as safe, pleasurable and satisfying as possible. To do so, science has to catch up and taboos have to dissipate enough so that more people feel comfortable talking about it and sharing their experiences.

Debby-HerbenickDebby Herbenick, PhD, MPH is co-Director of The Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University’s School of Public Health-Bloomington, a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, and author of five books about sex and love. Her most recent is Sex Made Easy: Your Awkward Questions Answered for Better, Smarter, Amazing Sex (Running Press, 2012).

Check out this TEDx Talk by Debby Herbenick  “Why Your Bed is the Ultimate Treehouse”

Nov 172012
 
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BY 
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON WWW.THEGOODMENPROJECT.COM 11/17/12

 Lori Ann Lothian wants to know if she’s wrong for wanting to be ‘ravished’.

First time I was ravished, I was 23. It was in a university building stairwell. He grabbed my hair in one fist, pressed me against the cool cement wall and kissed me with such ardor it took my breath away and elicited an instant wet-panty response. I married him two years later.

This passionate engagement became the yardstick by which I measured all future suitors. And I admit shamelessly to wanting a man to take charge sexually and to not ask permission to love me aggressively. I even remember telling one timid man, post-husband, “Don’t worry, I won’t break.”

But I recently discovered that these days both genders resist the idea it’s okay for a man to fiercely love a woman. I learned this through the more than 150 public comments and hundreds of private emails sparked by my article A Call to the Sacred Masculine: Ten Daring Invitations from the Divine Feminine (a piece that soared to over 60,000 views and 16,000 Facebook likes).

Obviously the idea of a feminine call to the masculine struck a collective chord. It elicited overwhelmingly positive feedback from men to invitations like show us your heroic heart, slay your demons, care deeply and dare to dream.

But when it comes to the invitation to just take a woman, without apology? Some women clobbered me with the dictionary definition of ravish, which includes the word rape. Some men asked if I wanted them to revert to brutish macho stereotypes. Both men and women asked me if what I wanted was to go backwards to a time when women were chattel, an asset in the possession of mostly abusive, power-drunk men.

Gosh no. I was simply suggesting that men be, well, manly. Or at least this woman’s definition of it.

The unexpected popularity of Fifty Shades of Gray (which makes Harlequin romance look like high literature) speaks—no shouts—to the wimpification of men in the era of the Sensitive New Age Guy (SNAG). In the self-help, spiritual growth driven western world, women have sent men the not-so-subtle message to buck up and become more emotionally available.

Yet something has gotten lost in the translation of this request for vulnerability. Instead, I’ve seen men have become emotionally tentative and sexually tepid. When a man I’m in relationship with seems to be asking for permission to sex me up, rather than making his move and letting me choose a yes or no, it’s as if I’ve been given all the power and control. And, unless I’m a dom, that is simply not a turn on.

It is arguably this very desire to relinquish control that accounts for the 60 million sold copies of Fifty Shades—simply, the storyline gives women the option to surrender, to opt for the fine print clause of letting go. It’s a story of a 21-year-old college virgin (yeah, right) meeting an emotionally tortured billionaire man who at first wants to make her his 12th submissive but in the end falls in mutual kinky love. And yes, he spanks her, ties her up and even flogs her (without the genital clamps or fisting, items virgin girl wisely takes off the contract.)

That a bondage-domination-lite hit the mainstream best seller charts is perhaps likely because the mainstream woman (housewife and working girl) is tired of being in charge.

We women have become super-manly in our pursuit of independence to the point that trashy, badly written smut like Fifty Shades strikes a nerve and hits the best-seller charts. The invitation of this book is clear—it’s the woman saying, “Show me your troubled male psyche so that I feel connected to you and dominate me so that I can let-the fuck go sexually and otherwise.”

The lure of being not only not-in-control, but out of control, is a potent elixir for some women who have been asked to step up and compete with men. We don’t want to battle for supremacy in politics, corporate power structures or even sports teams. In fact, we women would prefer to collaborate.

But the feminist agenda has got us women all tied up in the mental knot of “never depend on a man” and “anything a man can do we can do, better.”

Which brings me to this big question: where are we as a gender-neutral society, where women are asked to be strong and capable and men are expected to be sensitive and emotionally available?

We are probably missing out on the juicy current that the natural polarity between a man and a women (an unadulterated feminine and masculine energy) generates. This is a current that writers like David Deida make into big selling books like The Superior Man. Books that ask men to look at their own chest thumping, warrior-hunter nature and say, yes! Books that tell men to penetrate their woman’s moods and remind women that it’s okay to admit they want to be ravished. Because according to Deida, a truly feminine core (in a man or woman) wants to be taken.

Deida sidesteps the whole ravish versus rape debate with this distinction. “The fundamental difference between rape and ravishment is simple: love.”  In other words, when a man loves a woman, his forceful passionate engagement is not only welcome, it is desired. When I want to be ravished, I am really saying I want to be loved with fierce abandon by the man I also fiercely love.

I loved a man once, for two years. Yet in the end, I left because he was not willing to man-up (he hated that word) and love me with a ferocious current of the warrior-king. Instead, he wanted to be my equal to the point that he also wanted to be my buddy—not my lover, not the one who would just press me against that wall and bind me with his kisses.

In the admittedly cartoonish film 300, Spartan king Leonides has a queen. Gorgo not only has hot sex with her man, she advises him post-coitus on affairs of state. She is also in many ways, as the film progresses, demonstrably as powerful, clever and brave as the king.

I remember seeing this film years ago and thinking, this is really what I want. I want to be a queen to my king. I want a man who loves me with passionate hands-held-over-my head power and yet, who also recognizes me as his partner, his ally and his equal.

Because I am not the lesser half. Or the better half. I am simply the other half.

And as that half, I am also whole. Within me, I carry the current of masculine and feminine. And it’s clearly my feminine essence that wants to play in the playground of Jane and Tarzan. Of Leonidas and Gorgo. Of heck, yes, even of Anastasia and Christian.

I just want to feel like a woman. Even though I am as powerful as a man.

 

Lori Ann Lothian is the editor of elephant journal‘s Love and Relationships and creator of the popular The Awakened Dreamer blog which hit the stands following an overnight Enlightenment Episode that revolutionized her sex life and destroyed any chance at ever being miserable again. Her newest blog creation, Love Stripped Down explores the “Naked Truth about Sex, Romance and Relationships” and the possibility for enlightened love between the sexes. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook. Lori Ann lives in Vancouver, Canada, where she has learned to transcend the rain and surrender to mega doses of vitamin D.

This article originally appeared in a shorter version in issue 8 of Origin Magazine.
Read more great articles at The Good Men Project

Nov 072012
 
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By Sandra Bunino

Rolling and kneading a stress ball in his hand, Nick LaCroix sat in his plush leather chair thinking about the hot sensuous body on the other side of his heavy cherry wood door. He felt like a prisoner because every time he ventured out of his corner office the sultry eyes and pouty lips of Lacey Phillips smacked him in the face. Her casual glances not only took his breath away, electricity of those looks reverberated straight to his cock.

Nick’s mind raced in a million different directions, all leading to thoughts of high firm breasts beneath her silky blouse. Fuck! He threw the stress ball toward the door out of frustration, when his executive assistant, Alex, opened the door and ducked to dodge the flying object.

“Problems, Nick?”

“No, not necessarily, just trying to figure out a solution, a loophole so to speak.”  “Okay boss, I just wanted to let you know I’m leaving for the day. I can’t lock up because the marketing consultant, Lacey, is working late tonight. She asked me to let you know so you wouldn’t be startled when you came out of your office.”

A grin spread across Nick’s lips. He wasn’t imagining it after all. The glances, the stares, and the lace panties peeking out of her low slacks were intentionally meant to get his attention. Nick caught his reflection in his computer screen and realized he looked a little too happy. He quickly checked his grin, thanked Alex and wished him a good night.

Nick watched the setting sun through his bank of floor to ceiling windows from the twentieth floor. As CEO of Red Roses Productions he was always the first to arrive and the last to leave. Work had taken over his daily existence and he was due a distraction. His growing erection served as a beacon of his need and a reminder every time he passed Lacey’s desk. A jolt ran through his body as soon as he first saw her waiting in the lobby for her interview as few weeks ago. She was contracted as a marketing consultant and even though she wasn’t a Red Rose employee, as CEO of the company, Nick had to be careful. Sexual harassment accusations wouldn’t be good for business. His fist slammed down on his heavy cherry wood desk, the force knocked his stapler onto the floor. Yes! Looking around his desk he realized he had the perfect solution to his dilemma. Oh yes, he had an itch that was about to be scratched. Nick picked up the phone and dialed Lacey’s extension.

* * * * * * * *

Lacey had her eye on Nick’s ass since she first saw him the day of her interview at Red Roses Productions. She needed the work and was thrilled when the hiring manager called her with the offer. Her mind quickly shifted to the hottie with chiseled features and deep blue eyes that walked by her while she waited for her interview. She’d hoped to bump into him again. She soon realized the object of her lustful desire was Nick LaCroix, CEO of Red Roses. Lacey resigned herself to give up her plans of pursuit until she noticed Nick staring in her direction with an unmistakable hunger in his eyes. He had the same thing in mind, she was sure of it. After weeks of glances and purposeful walks in her direction, Lacey took matter into her own hands and set up a ‘working late’ scenario.

Lacey smiled when her extension rang. She didn’t need to look at the caller display to know it was Nick.

“Yes, Mr. LaCroix?”

“Lacey, would you please come to my office? I have an issue with a company policy that requires your expertise.”

“Of course. I’ll be right there.”

Lacey knocked softly, swung open the door and closed it behind her with a soft click. Her eyes locked on his as she strode to his expansive desk where he was seated. She leaned over the desk and placed both palms on the cool surface knowing she’d given him a perfect view of her hot pink lace bra peeking out of her creamy blouse.

“How can I be of service to you, Nick?”  Nick held his thick gold plated fountain pen between his middle and index finger.  “I’m in a bit of a predicament, Lacey, and need your opinion on how to proceed. You see here at Red Roses we have a ‘hands-off’ policy for our employees and it includes consultants and the CEO.”  “I see,” Lacey said as she walked around the massive desk until she was next to his leather chair. “Nice pen.” She took the pen from Nick’s hand and rolled it around her fingertips. “That is certainly a predicament but not an insurmountable one.” Lacey put the gold tip of the pen’s cap to her mouth, moistened it with her tongue and ran the sparkling cap along her lower lip. Nick’s eyes never left the gold pen.

His gaze followed the direction of the pen as Lacey leisurely traced it down to her neck to her cleavage. The cap, still moist from her tongue left a glistening trail down her chest to the first of four pearl buttons on her blouse. Lacey deftly unbuttoned two of the pearls unveiling a splash of hot pink lace that was playing peek-a-boo with him just moments ago. She swiveled Nick’s chair and placed her hands on either armrest.   “Just so I’m clear about the policy, does it apply to lips?” Nick smiled. “The policy is strictly a ‘hands-off’ restriction, there’s no mention of lips.” Lacey leaned in closer and was met full force by Nick’s hungry mouth. She whimpered as his tongue parted her lips and sought its mate. Still holding onto the armrests, Lacy rested one knee between his legs and pushed his head back as she took control of the powerful kiss. Heat instantly filled her as a current of electricity traveled straight down to flood her belly. Her knee slid to his groin until it stopped at his rock hard erection straining through his pants. Lacey broke their kiss and looked down at his neglected bulge and brought her eyes back to Nick. “That looks uncomfortable. Since I can’t do the honors why don’t you loosen your pants?” A low groan escaped Nick’s lips as he hastily unhooked his belt and pants. Lacey saw a hint of silk boxers as he unleashed his shaft standing at full attention. She licked her lips and shifted her eyes back to his.

 * * * * * * * *

Fuck! In the back of his mind he knew this was wrong, incredibly wrong. Rational thoughts were not in the forefront of his brain. He was just seconds from losing his throbbing cock to Lacey’s pouty lips. It was those lips that drew him to her like a moth to a flame. Those lips that he still felt on his that, oh God, were now at the tip of his cock. Yes, at that moment he was willing to risk it all. It would just take one person to come back to the office, open his door and it would be all over. The Board of Directors would throw him out so quick he would barely have enough time to zipper his fly. Nick and his dick would be the talk of the office for years to come. But at that very moment he didn’t even care where his next breath came from, all he focused on was Lacey’s warm, wet tongue on his shaft. This ‘hands off’ policy would be harder to abide by than he originally thought. He gripped the armrests of his leather chair as he watched her head rise up and down on his cock. What he wouldn’t do to run his fingers through her hair and pull it away from her face. He wanted to watch those full glistening lips take him completely into her mouth. The thought almost had him coming. Shit! No! He already broke one of his rules – don’t get involved with anyone at work. He refused to break the number one rule – don’t come first.“Lacey, on the desk,” he growled.  She stopped and looked up at him with the most beautiful eyes. “Did I do something wrong, Nick?” He wanted to gather her up into his arms and hold her tight. God, she was already under his skin. Shit!   “No, sweetheart.” He smiled. “But if you don’t stop I am going to come all over those amazing lips of yours. On the desk, please.”

Lacey rose from her position at his lap, but before she did as he requested, she unbuttoned the last two pearls on her blouse and slipped it off her shoulders. She sat down on his leather desk blotter in her gray skirt and hot pink bra. Leaning back, she placed her hands on the desk’s surface behind her and looked at him with a daring look in her eyes.  “Okay, Mr. Hands off Policy, what now?”

Nick had something up his sleeve. Actually, it was on his desk. He picked up his stapler and swung the top up so that the metal shaft that held the staples was exposed. He smiled a devilish grin and proceeded to staple Lacey’s skirt to his desk blotter. “Now slide toward me.”  She followed his instructions and slowly inched toward him while he stood between her legs. He was pleasantly surprised that she wore thigh high stockings. His eyes traveled from the top of her stockings to her the toned taut thighs to her panties that matched her hot pink bra. “Pen, please,” he said holding out his hand while still eyeing her pink panties. “What? Um, Nick, what are you going to do with the pen?”  He chuckled. “Nothing to worry about, you’ll see.”  She gave him a suspicious look but handed him the pen. He teased her by placing the cool gold cap on her knee and running it lightly up her inner thigh stopping at her panties. Fuck! His mind was racing. His hand was so close to her pussy that he swore he felt her heat. It took every ounce of control not to slip his fingers inside her panties and touch her slick sex. Instead he clipped her panties into the pen clip. Once her panties were secured around the pen he pulled them down her legs.

Lacey kicked off her shoes and placed one stockinged foot on his shoulder, the other on the chair behind him. Nick hastily grabbed his wallet out of his back pocket, pulled out a square metallic wrapped condom and threw the wallet on his desk. Ripping open the condom with his teeth, he rolled it onto his aching shaft while his eyes never left Lacey’s sultry stare. The act of fucking with their eyes was more than he could take and he ached with the anticipation of plunging into her sweet core. She inched closer to the desk’s edge meeting the tip of his cock.  Nick couldn’t wait any longer; hungrily he thrust into her glistening folds. He groaned deeply willing himself not to touch her even though the need coursed through his fingertips. Stroke after stroke her warmth surrounded him, he groaned as his mouth crushed against hers.

“Sweetheart, I need to touch you.”

“You know we can’t do that, I need my job.” Lacey said breathlessly.

“Fuck it, Lacey. I’ll get you another job. Please.” He stopped but remained inside of her and searched her eyes.

* * * * * * * *

Lacey felt it. God, yes, she knew this was more than a lustful fuck with the boss. The heat that seared through her body was derived from an emotional connection as well as a physical one. But should she risk her job? Should she trust him to find her another? She stared back into his pleading eyes.

She wanted to touch his strong arms and shoulders. She wanted to feel his hair between her fingers as she moaned into his ear. She nodded her head. “Yes, okay.” Lacey braced herself for the hunger she knew laid within him but instead of a mad rush of groping, Nick’s hands rose to her face. She gasped as he gently cupped her face with his palms and kissed her gently. Lacey wrapped her arms around his neck and raked her fingers through his hair. Christ, he felt good. In one swoop Nick lifted her up, popping the staples from his desk blotter. Lacey shimmied out of her skirt and pushed Nick into his leather chair.

She straddled him and guided his thickness into her channel. Nick huskily called her name as she rode him feeling his length slide in and out against her inner walls.  He unhooked her bra and took one breast into his mouth as he rolled her other nipple between his finger and thumb.  Lacey moaned while grinding her sensitive clit against his body with each stroke.  His hands slid down her back to her ass lifting her cheeks up and down to accentuate the rhythm she set.  Lacey showered his neck with kisses and moaned softly in his ear as she climbed closer to the release she craved. She was on the edge when Nick pressed one finger in between her ass cheeks and applied pressure to her opening.

“Lacey, baby, come for me.”

She couldn’t last any longer and his whispered request put her over the top. Her climax came in strong waves as her inner walls clamped onto his pulsing cock. Her scream intermingled with his growl as they came together on his office chair.

 ~~~~~~~~

The next morning Lacey walked toward her desk and glanced over to Nick’s closed office door. There was already a cardboard box waiting at her desk. She called the marketing manager earlier that morning to explain that she received an offer for a full time position that started immediately. She pulled out her desk drawer to collect her personal items when she noticed one long stem rose and a small envelope. Ripping open the envelope she read the handwritten note.

 Lacey,

 Last night was incredible, however, I’m sorry that it resulted in your resignation. As promised, here’s a schedule of five interviews I have secured for you over the next week. You will find they are all excellent jobs that will allow you to further your career. You will have your pick of them. Selfishly, they are within walking distance from this office.

 I hope you will agree to continue to see me starting with dinner tonight.

Nick

Lacey smiled just as she noticed a presence in back of her. A hand reached out containing the gold fountain pen.

“Please don’t forget this, Lacey.” Nick said handing her the pen. Then he whispered, “I think we’re going to need it again.”                                                                                                                                                                                     © 2012 Sandra Bunino

Sandra Bunino began a love of romance stories while penning a creative writing assignment in high school. The story ended with the heroine receiving a long stemmed red rose in her locker on Valentine’s Day. Since then, all of her stories feature the hero presenting the heroine with roses. Sandra is constantly searching for different ways to achieve a heart-pumping, stomach-flipping, breath-catching reaction from her readers.

Her books include Marooned in Miami, Lusted in Las Vegas, Sara’s Smile, and The Satin Rose Experience series Mia’s Submission and Brooke’s Wish.

Please check her out on these various pages: Website Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon Author Page / Twitter: @sandrabunino

Nov 072012
 
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By Sandra Bunino

Rolling and kneading a stress ball in his hand, Nick LaCroix sat in his plush leather chair thinking about the hot sensuous body on the other side of his heavy cherry wood door. He felt like a prisoner because every time he ventured out of his corner office the sultry eyes and pouty lips of Lacey Phillips smacked him in the face. Her casual glances not only took his breath away, electricity of those looks reverberated straight to his cock.

Nick’s mind raced in a million different directions, all leading to thoughts of high firm breasts beneath her silky blouse. Fuck! He threw the stress ball toward the door out of frustration, when his executive assistant, Alex, opened the door and ducked to dodge the flying object.

“Problems, Nick?”

“No, not necessarily, just trying to figure out a solution, a loophole so to speak.”  “Okay boss, I just wanted to let you know I’m leaving for the day. I can’t lock up because the marketing consultant, Lacey, is working late tonight. She asked me to let you know so you wouldn’t be startled when you came out of your office.”

A grin spread across Nick’s lips. He wasn’t imagining it after all. The glances, the stares, and the lace panties peeking out of her low slacks were intentionally meant to get his attention. Nick caught his reflection in his computer screen and realized he looked a little too happy. He quickly checked his grin, thanked Alex and wished him a good night.

Nick watched the setting sun through his bank of floor to ceiling windows from the twentieth floor. As CEO of Red Roses Productions he was always the first to arrive and the last to leave. Work had taken over his daily existence and he was due a distraction. His growing erection served as a beacon of his need and a reminder every time he passed Lacey’s desk. A jolt ran through his body as soon as he first saw her waiting in the lobby for her interview as few weeks ago. She was contracted as a marketing consultant and even though she wasn’t a Red Rose employee, as CEO of the company, Nick had to be careful. Sexual harassment accusations wouldn’t be good for business. His fist slammed down on his heavy cherry wood desk, the force knocked his stapler onto the floor. Yes! Looking around his desk he realized he had the perfect solution to his dilemma. Oh yes, he had an itch that was about to be scratched. Nick picked up the phone and dialed Lacey’s extension.

* * * * * * * *

Lacey had her eye on Nick’s ass since she first saw him the day of her interview at Red Roses Productions. She needed the work and was thrilled when the hiring manager called her with the offer. Her mind quickly shifted to the hottie with chiseled features and deep blue eyes that walked by her while she waited for her interview. She’d hoped to bump into him again. She soon realized the object of her lustful desire was Nick LaCroix, CEO of Red Roses. Lacey resigned herself to give up her plans of pursuit until she noticed Nick staring in her direction with an unmistakable hunger in his eyes. He had the same thing in mind, she was sure of it. After weeks of glances and purposeful walks in her direction, Lacey took matter into her own hands and set up a ‘working late’ scenario.

Lacey smiled when her extension rang. She didn’t need to look at the caller display to know it was Nick.

“Yes, Mr. LaCroix?”

“Lacey, would you please come to my office? I have an issue with a company policy that requires your expertise.”

“Of course. I’ll be right there.”

Lacey knocked softly, swung open the door and closed it behind her with a soft click. Her eyes locked on his as she strode to his expansive desk where he was seated. She leaned over the desk and placed both palms on the cool surface knowing she’d given him a perfect view of her hot pink lace bra peeking out of her creamy blouse.

“How can I be of service to you, Nick?”  Nick held his thick gold plated fountain pen between his middle and index finger.  “I’m in a bit of a predicament, Lacey, and need your opinion on how to proceed. You see here at Red Roses we have a ‘hands-off’ policy for our employees and it includes consultants and the CEO.”  “I see,” Lacey said as she walked around the massive desk until she was next to his leather chair. “Nice pen.” She took the pen from Nick’s hand and rolled it around her fingertips. “That is certainly a predicament but not an insurmountable one.” Lacey put the gold tip of the pen’s cap to her mouth, moistened it with her tongue and ran the sparkling cap along her lower lip. Nick’s eyes never left the gold pen.

His gaze followed the direction of the pen as Lacey leisurely traced it down to her neck to her cleavage. The cap, still moist from her tongue left a glistening trail down her chest to the first of four pearl buttons on her blouse. Lacey deftly unbuttoned two of the pearls unveiling a splash of hot pink lace that was playing peek-a-boo with him just moments ago. She swiveled Nick’s chair and placed her hands on either armrest.   “Just so I’m clear about the policy, does it apply to lips?” Nick smiled. “The policy is strictly a ‘hands-off’ restriction, there’s no mention of lips.” Lacey leaned in closer and was met full force by Nick’s hungry mouth. She whimpered as his tongue parted her lips and sought its mate. Still holding onto the armrests, Lacy rested one knee between his legs and pushed his head back as she took control of the powerful kiss. Heat instantly filled her as a current of electricity traveled straight down to flood her belly. Her knee slid to his groin until it stopped at his rock hard erection straining through his pants. Lacey broke their kiss and looked down at his neglected bulge and brought her eyes back to Nick. “That looks uncomfortable. Since I can’t do the honors why don’t you loosen your pants?” A low groan escaped Nick’s lips as he hastily unhooked his belt and pants. Lacey saw a hint of silk boxers as he unleashed his shaft standing at full attention. She licked her lips and shifted her eyes back to his.

 * * * * * * * *

Fuck! In the back of his mind he knew this was wrong, incredibly wrong. Rational thoughts were not in the forefront of his brain. He was just seconds from losing his throbbing cock to Lacey’s pouty lips. It was those lips that drew him to her like a moth to a flame. Those lips that he still felt on his that, oh God, were now at the tip of his cock. Yes, at that moment he was willing to risk it all. It would just take one person to come back to the office, open his door and it would be all over. The Board of Directors would throw him out so quick he would barely have enough time to zipper his fly. Nick and his dick would be the talk of the office for years to come. But at that very moment he didn’t even care where his next breath came from, all he focused on was Lacey’s warm, wet tongue on his shaft. This ‘hands off’ policy would be harder to abide by than he originally thought. He gripped the armrests of his leather chair as he watched her head rise up and down on his cock. What he wouldn’t do to run his fingers through her hair and pull it away from her face. He wanted to watch those full glistening lips take him completely into her mouth. The thought almost had him coming. Shit! No! He already broke one of his rules – don’t get involved with anyone at work. He refused to break the number one rule – don’t come first.“Lacey, on the desk,” he growled.  She stopped and looked up at him with the most beautiful eyes. “Did I do something wrong, Nick?” He wanted to gather her up into his arms and hold her tight. God, she was already under his skin. Shit!   “No, sweetheart.” He smiled. “But if you don’t stop I am going to come all over those amazing lips of yours. On the desk, please.”

Lacey rose from her position at his lap, but before she did as he requested, she unbuttoned the last two pearls on her blouse and slipped it off her shoulders. She sat down on his leather desk blotter in her gray skirt and hot pink bra. Leaning back, she placed her hands on the desk’s surface behind her and looked at him with a daring look in her eyes.  “Okay, Mr. Hands off Policy, what now?”

Nick had something up his sleeve. Actually, it was on his desk. He picked up his stapler and swung the top up so that the metal shaft that held the staples was exposed. He smiled a devilish grin and proceeded to staple Lacey’s skirt to his desk blotter. “Now slide toward me.”  She followed his instructions and slowly inched toward him while he stood between her legs. He was pleasantly surprised that she wore thigh high stockings. His eyes traveled from the top of her stockings to her the toned taut thighs to her panties that matched her hot pink bra. “Pen, please,” he said holding out his hand while still eyeing her pink panties. “What? Um, Nick, what are you going to do with the pen?”  He chuckled. “Nothing to worry about, you’ll see.”  She gave him a suspicious look but handed him the pen. He teased her by placing the cool gold cap on her knee and running it lightly up her inner thigh stopping at her panties. Fuck! His mind was racing. His hand was so close to her pussy that he swore he felt her heat. It took every ounce of control not to slip his fingers inside her panties and touch her slick sex. Instead he clipped her panties into the pen clip. Once her panties were secured around the pen he pulled them down her legs.

Lacey kicked off her shoes and placed one stockinged foot on his shoulder, the other on the chair behind him. Nick hastily grabbed his wallet out of his back pocket, pulled out a square metallic wrapped condom and threw the wallet on his desk. Ripping open the condom with his teeth, he rolled it onto his aching shaft while his eyes never left Lacey’s sultry stare. The act of fucking with their eyes was more than he could take and he ached with the anticipation of plunging into her sweet core. She inched closer to the desk’s edge meeting the tip of his cock.  Nick couldn’t wait any longer; hungrily he thrust into her glistening folds. He groaned deeply willing himself not to touch her even though the need coursed through his fingertips. Stroke after stroke her warmth surrounded him, he groaned as his mouth crushed against hers.

“Sweetheart, I need to touch you.”

“You know we can’t do that, I need my job.” Lacey said breathlessly.

“Fuck it, Lacey. I’ll get you another job. Please.” He stopped but remained inside of her and searched her eyes.

* * * * * * * *

Lacey felt it. God, yes, she knew this was more than a lustful fuck with the boss. The heat that seared through her body was derived from an emotional connection as well as a physical one. But should she risk her job? Should she trust him to find her another? She stared back into his pleading eyes.

She wanted to touch his strong arms and shoulders. She wanted to feel his hair between her fingers as she moaned into his ear. She nodded her head. “Yes, okay.” Lacey braced herself for the hunger she knew laid within him but instead of a mad rush of groping, Nick’s hands rose to her face. She gasped as he gently cupped her face with his palms and kissed her gently. Lacey wrapped her arms around his neck and raked her fingers through his hair. Christ, he felt good. In one swoop Nick lifted her up, popping the staples from his desk blotter. Lacey shimmied out of her skirt and pushed Nick into his leather chair.

She straddled him and guided his thickness into her channel. Nick huskily called her name as she rode him feeling his length slide in and out against her inner walls.  He unhooked her bra and took one breast into his mouth as he rolled her other nipple between his finger and thumb.  Lacey moaned while grinding her sensitive clit against his body with each stroke.  His hands slid down her back to her ass lifting her cheeks up and down to accentuate the rhythm she set.  Lacey showered his neck with kisses and moaned softly in his ear as she climbed closer to the release she craved. She was on the edge when Nick pressed one finger in between her ass cheeks and applied pressure to her opening.

“Lacey, baby, come for me.”

She couldn’t last any longer and his whispered request put her over the top. Her climax came in strong waves as her inner walls clamped onto his pulsing cock. Her scream intermingled with his growl as they came together on his office chair.

 ~~~~~~~~

The next morning Lacey walked toward her desk and glanced over to Nick’s closed office door. There was already a cardboard box waiting at her desk. She called the marketing manager earlier that morning to explain that she received an offer for a full time position that started immediately. She pulled out her desk drawer to collect her personal items when she noticed one long stem rose and a small envelope. Ripping open the envelope she read the handwritten note.

 Lacey,

 Last night was incredible, however, I’m sorry that it resulted in your resignation. As promised, here’s a schedule of five interviews I have secured for you over the next week. You will find they are all excellent jobs that will allow you to further your career. You will have your pick of them. Selfishly, they are within walking distance from this office.

 I hope you will agree to continue to see me starting with dinner tonight.

Nick

Lacey smiled just as she noticed a presence in back of her. A hand reached out containing the gold fountain pen.

“Please don’t forget this, Lacey.” Nick said handing her the pen. Then he whispered, “I think we’re going to need it again.”                                                                                                                                                                                     © 2012 Sandra Bunino

Sandra Bunino began a love of romance stories while penning a creative writing assignment in high school. The story ended with the heroine receiving a long stemmed red rose in her locker on Valentine’s Day. Since then, all of her stories feature the hero presenting the heroine with roses. Sandra is constantly searching for different ways to achieve a heart-pumping, stomach-flipping, breath-catching reaction from her readers.

Her books include Marooned in Miami, Lusted in Las Vegas, Sara’s Smile, and The Satin Rose Experience series Mia’s Submission and Brooke’s Wish.

Please check her out on these various pages: Website Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon Author Page / Twitter: @sandrabunino

Jul 292012
 

954839_465797316846757_1485554164_nBy Stanley Siegel

“Sex Worker or Therapist?” was censored by Psychology Today on February 21 and never appeared online.

Several years ago, a 62-year-old man had a consultation with me a few months after good friends had conducted, let’s say, an intervention on his behalf. Andrew was a pediatrician who had worked nearly his whole life in rural Vietnam,  a demanding job that caused him to sideline other important parts of his life. Now that he had retired, his friends decided Andrew needed help building a sex life. He accepted their rather unconventional assistance.

Andrew told me he always knew he was gay even though until recently he had never had sex with anyone. “For the first time in my life,” he said. “I’ve developed an intense excitement about having sex with men and perhaps even a loving relationship.”

I asked him about the recent sexual experience arranged by his friends.

“They found an escort for me. It was a little like you see in the movies — the father taking his virgin son to see a prostitute to initiate him into manhood. Having done their research, my friends chose well. The young man understood that I was a virgin and was extraordinarily kind, loving and generous with me. I was terrified and overexcited. He handled me perfectly,” Andrew said. “Since then, I’ve seen Peter weekly. It’s been the most amazing experience. I am learning to appreciate my body as old as it is and I’m also learning the mechanics of sex which I had only occasionally seen in porn movies. My whole attitude has changed. I feel much more confident about myself and I’ve started to date. I’m so grateful to Peter for what he is giving to me.”

Another patient Judith reported that in the past she had seen a male escort who helped her with a deep fear. Judith had several disturbing childhood experiences with an uncle who fondled her, sometimes masturbating while he touched her prepubescent breast.

Judith had consequently developed a lifelong fear of physical contact with men and although she had fantasized regularly about having sex, when she expressed her fears to the men she dated, they inevitably left her. “Too much baggage,” she said. “As it turned out the right man for me was an escort.”

“I confided my fears in my closest girlfriend,” she continued. “She made the suggestion that I try an escort. I thought she was nuts at first, but it was absolutely the right thing. I found an escort service online and called. Dan was sweet, tender and gentle. He knew exactly how to touch me. He had a lot of patience that guys I dated didn’t have. I saw him about four or five times and while I am not entirely cured, I am on the way. I’m no longer afraid the way I was. I’m making better choices with men now because of Dan.” Later, she said, ”It didn’t matter at all that I was paying him. I’ve paid more to therapists over the years and I didn’t get anywhere.” She added one more thought. “I got attached to him, maybe I even felt a kind of love. But, I got over it quickly. I put it in it’s place. Yet I have to say that it opened my heart to other men in a way I couldn’t before.” Like Andrew, time with a sex worker prepared Judith to go out into the world with experience, self-confidence and a positive attitude toward sex. She felt she could finally have a sexual relationship.

Every escort might not have the same talents to heal and while some do exploit their clients, the sex workers I spoke with, as well as some I have been with, share many of the same positive values and ethics as therapists. Both psychotherapists and sex workers have guided me, at different times in my life, to a deeper understanding of my true desires, partly by challenging me to confront shame.

Of course, a sex worker’s profession is illegal in most states.

In the 1970s, sex researchers Masters and Johnson introduced the idea of using sexual surrogates with patients to engage in intimate sexual relations to achieve a therapeutic goal. The idea caught on for a short time. Sex surrogates were eventually certified to use a combination of techniques — talking, listening and performing to help resolve a patient’s sexual issue. Psychotherapists referred patients to surrogates who had problems with self-confidence, sexual anxiety, premature ejaculation, vaginismus, sexual inhibition and erectile dysfunction.

Despite the high success rate of surrogate programs, complicated legal issues, along with intense criticism from both the far right and feminist organizations, arose. Few states allow sexual surrogates to practice these days.

The sex worker industry, on the other hand, will never disappear. And while therapists cannot refer patients to them, they are working with mental health professionals to help patients explore and develop their sexual potential.

Of course, communication plays a key role in the success of these sexual exchanges as it does in therapy since so many sexual issues are psychological. I have heard of sex workers who use relaxation techniques, intimate verbal communication, non-genital contact, sexual touching as well as intercourse.

Because of negative attitudes associated with prostitution we think of it as lacking humanity. After all, it’s an activity engaged in mostly by strangers with an exchange of money. Therefore, we make the wrong assumption that both parties are entering into a very intimate encounter with a total detachment.

But this wasn’t the case with my patients nor with some of the sex workers I interviewed.

“I’ve had such positive experiences with hookers,” one straight patient told me. “The best experiences have been the conversations. Some are better educated than I am. They seem to genuinely enjoy their work and care about their clients. We are no different. We’re all people. I’m sure their relationships are just as fraught with complications as mine. The only shame I have about it is what society places on me. I wouldn’t talk about it with my friends, even though I’ve learned so much about sex and myself through these experiences. My guy friends would think that I’m not cool enough to find and keep a girlfriend and my female friends would be totally creeped out. I wish I could openly recommend it to my friends, but I can’t.

I wanted to learn more about the views of escorts.

“I introduce guys to their bodies,” one woman I met online told me. “Most of  the men I meet are pretty out of touch with themselves physically. They think they want to just fuck. I teach them that sex isn’t all about fucking. I relax them first with conversation, then sensual touching I teach them what women need. The connection is important. “Sometimes I’ll ask a client about his fantasies if I feel comfortable enough with him. They don’t always know I coax it out of them If we’re sexually compatible, then we will go ahead and try to play his fantasies out. There are times I’m just not into what a guy wants and will politely tell him that he would have a better experience with someone who enjoys what he does. I do it without shaming him.

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not entirely a missionary. I enjoy the money. There is something erotic about getting paid. It’s as much a turn-on as anything else. It satisfies a deep need of mine to be admired.”

I spoke with Devon Hunter, a gay man who has a decade of experience in the adult entertainment industry and who became a sex worker, or courtesan, as he prefers to call himself, after years of deliberation.

“What motivates me is the desire to create an experience that awakens kindness and compassion in my clients. Most of my clients are not coming to have intercourse. The great majority seek intimacy and affection I create a boyfriend experience in which we get acquainted through conversation, touch, perhaps tender kissing. We might go out to dinner then come home and have sex, but just as often not. Together, we establish a romanticized, or idealized version of what every man hopes for. In part, I accomplish this by focusing my attention with deep compassion and empathy for what it is someone needs. Whatever they look like, act like or fantasize.  I suspend all judgements. My goal is to affirm people.

“Some of these men come from relationships that are dysfunctional or co-dependent where there has been sacrifice. Our experience acts as a counterpoint. It’s healing in that my client internalizes the kindness, compassion and tenderness we exchange then takes that into his own life and propagates it. Although I am not trained as a therapist, I always hope that the experience is a therapeutic one for my client. That doesn’t mean that it’s not sexy.

“I develop a bond with clients as regularly as might happen in real life and it’s as authentic as any that would happen outside of the situation. It grows from the cycle of freely giving and receiving that I work to establish. Being a man is demanding. Men have to prove they are men usually through aggressive behavior. When we are together, we can suspend that performance. Often I teach a client to receive. To let me take care of them. Most realize that intercourse is not what they want Affection and sensuality is what’s most meaningful to them. Kissing achieves that.

“Unfortunately, sex workers are marginalized and demonized on all fronts. I understand there are people who are hustlers — ‘gay for pay.’ They are often men who are self-loathing, emotionally inauthentic and inaccessible. Those kind of people exist in every profession. Some men are sadly attracted to the danger and potential self-destructiveness of encounters with these men.

“I want to bring attention to the fact that while sex workers have to constantly deal with society’s demonization of them, many are not self-hating. Personally, such ostracism reminds me to act with greater kindness and empathy towards everyone.”

It’s difficult not to continue the comparison between the goals and techniques of these sex workers and of psychotherapists — empathy, compassion, communication and connection, self-knowledge, affirmation and a corrective experience. Both experiences take place within a suspended reality where the relationship is limited to a prescribed time and place.

I remember sitting in the lobby of an office suite I once shared. Several patients sat on either side of me and I imagined what it would be like for them waiting for their session to start. My watch read 12:50 P.M. Suddenly, the doors of a dozen consultation rooms flung open. It was the end of the patients’ fifty-minute session. They were followed a minute later by nearly twelve therapists who came out for a stretch or bathroom break.

The image of sex workers standing outside their doors waiting for their next client in Amsterdam’s red-light district instantly came to mind.

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE: 

Stanley Siegel – Sex Worker or Therapist? | Psychology Tomorrow Magazine. July 2012 – Issue 1

Stanley Siegel, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, author, lecturer, and former Director of Education and Senior Faculty member of New York’s renowned Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy. With nearly 40 years of experience in the field of psychology, Siegel has developed a bold and unconventional approach to psychotherapy that has led to his most recent book, Your Brain on Sex: How Smarter Sex Can Change Your Life. Siegel has taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Adelphi University, and the University of California, Berkeley. Additionally, he was the founding director of the Family Studies Center in Huntington, New York, and has served as a consultant to hospitals and mental health centers throughout the country. The creator and writer of the “Families” column for Newsday, Siegel also co-authored two popular books: The Patient Who Cured His Therapist and Other Unconventional Stories Of Therapy and Uncharted Lives: Understanding The Life Passages Of Gay Men, both of which have been translated into 6 languages. His books serve as the basis for workshops around the country. Siegel has served as the review editor for two professional marital therapy journals, and his work with couples and families is the subject of two educational videos. Siegel’s lifelong interest in art has included a period during the mid-1990s as the Dance Editor for Showbusiness, in which he reviewed and reported on the dance scene in New York City. Siegel created the popular sex column Intelligent Lust for Psychology Today Magazine, which is now featured in this magazine. It also appears regularly throughout the Middle East in FitNStyle Magazine.

To learn more, visit www.stanley-siegel.com.

Jul 292012
 

954839_465797316846757_1485554164_nBy Stanley Siegel

“Sex Worker or Therapist?” was censored by Psychology Today on February 21 and never appeared online.

Several years ago, a 62-year-old man had a consultation with me a few months after good friends had conducted, let’s say, an intervention on his behalf. Andrew was a pediatrician who had worked nearly his whole life in rural Vietnam,  a demanding job that caused him to sideline other important parts of his life. Now that he had retired, his friends decided Andrew needed help building a sex life. He accepted their rather unconventional assistance.

Andrew told me he always knew he was gay even though until recently he had never had sex with anyone. “For the first time in my life,” he said. “I’ve developed an intense excitement about having sex with men and perhaps even a loving relationship.”

I asked him about the recent sexual experience arranged by his friends.

“They found an escort for me. It was a little like you see in the movies — the father taking his virgin son to see a prostitute to initiate him into manhood. Having done their research, my friends chose well. The young man understood that I was a virgin and was extraordinarily kind, loving and generous with me. I was terrified and overexcited. He handled me perfectly,” Andrew said. “Since then, I’ve seen Peter weekly. It’s been the most amazing experience. I am learning to appreciate my body as old as it is and I’m also learning the mechanics of sex which I had only occasionally seen in porn movies. My whole attitude has changed. I feel much more confident about myself and I’ve started to date. I’m so grateful to Peter for what he is giving to me.”

Another patient Judith reported that in the past she had seen a male escort who helped her with a deep fear. Judith had several disturbing childhood experiences with an uncle who fondled her, sometimes masturbating while he touched her prepubescent breast.

Judith had consequently developed a lifelong fear of physical contact with men and although she had fantasized regularly about having sex, when she expressed her fears to the men she dated, they inevitably left her. “Too much baggage,” she said. “As it turned out the right man for me was an escort.”

“I confided my fears in my closest girlfriend,” she continued. “She made the suggestion that I try an escort. I thought she was nuts at first, but it was absolutely the right thing. I found an escort service online and called. Dan was sweet, tender and gentle. He knew exactly how to touch me. He had a lot of patience that guys I dated didn’t have. I saw him about four or five times and while I am not entirely cured, I am on the way. I’m no longer afraid the way I was. I’m making better choices with men now because of Dan.” Later, she said, ”It didn’t matter at all that I was paying him. I’ve paid more to therapists over the years and I didn’t get anywhere.” She added one more thought. “I got attached to him, maybe I even felt a kind of love. But, I got over it quickly. I put it in it’s place. Yet I have to say that it opened my heart to other men in a way I couldn’t before.” Like Andrew, time with a sex worker prepared Judith to go out into the world with experience, self-confidence and a positive attitude toward sex. She felt she could finally have a sexual relationship.

Every escort might not have the same talents to heal and while some do exploit their clients, the sex workers I spoke with, as well as some I have been with, share many of the same positive values and ethics as therapists. Both psychotherapists and sex workers have guided me, at different times in my life, to a deeper understanding of my true desires, partly by challenging me to confront shame.

Of course, a sex worker’s profession is illegal in most states.

In the 1970s, sex researchers Masters and Johnson introduced the idea of using sexual surrogates with patients to engage in intimate sexual relations to achieve a therapeutic goal. The idea caught on for a short time. Sex surrogates were eventually certified to use a combination of techniques — talking, listening and performing to help resolve a patient’s sexual issue. Psychotherapists referred patients to surrogates who had problems with self-confidence, sexual anxiety, premature ejaculation, vaginismus, sexual inhibition and erectile dysfunction.

Despite the high success rate of surrogate programs, complicated legal issues, along with intense criticism from both the far right and feminist organizations, arose. Few states allow sexual surrogates to practice these days.

The sex worker industry, on the other hand, will never disappear. And while therapists cannot refer patients to them, they are working with mental health professionals to help patients explore and develop their sexual potential.

Of course, communication plays a key role in the success of these sexual exchanges as it does in therapy since so many sexual issues are psychological. I have heard of sex workers who use relaxation techniques, intimate verbal communication, non-genital contact, sexual touching as well as intercourse.

Because of negative attitudes associated with prostitution we think of it as lacking humanity. After all, it’s an activity engaged in mostly by strangers with an exchange of money. Therefore, we make the wrong assumption that both parties are entering into a very intimate encounter with a total detachment.

But this wasn’t the case with my patients nor with some of the sex workers I interviewed.

“I’ve had such positive experiences with hookers,” one straight patient told me. “The best experiences have been the conversations. Some are better educated than I am. They seem to genuinely enjoy their work and care about their clients. We are no different. We’re all people. I’m sure their relationships are just as fraught with complications as mine. The only shame I have about it is what society places on me. I wouldn’t talk about it with my friends, even though I’ve learned so much about sex and myself through these experiences. My guy friends would think that I’m not cool enough to find and keep a girlfriend and my female friends would be totally creeped out. I wish I could openly recommend it to my friends, but I can’t.

I wanted to learn more about the views of escorts.

“I introduce guys to their bodies,” one woman I met online told me. “Most of  the men I meet are pretty out of touch with themselves physically. They think they want to just fuck. I teach them that sex isn’t all about fucking. I relax them first with conversation, then sensual touching I teach them what women need. The connection is important. “Sometimes I’ll ask a client about his fantasies if I feel comfortable enough with him. They don’t always know I coax it out of them If we’re sexually compatible, then we will go ahead and try to play his fantasies out. There are times I’m just not into what a guy wants and will politely tell him that he would have a better experience with someone who enjoys what he does. I do it without shaming him.

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not entirely a missionary. I enjoy the money. There is something erotic about getting paid. It’s as much a turn-on as anything else. It satisfies a deep need of mine to be admired.”

I spoke with Devon Hunter, a gay man who has a decade of experience in the adult entertainment industry and who became a sex worker, or courtesan, as he prefers to call himself, after years of deliberation.

“What motivates me is the desire to create an experience that awakens kindness and compassion in my clients. Most of my clients are not coming to have intercourse. The great majority seek intimacy and affection I create a boyfriend experience in which we get acquainted through conversation, touch, perhaps tender kissing. We might go out to dinner then come home and have sex, but just as often not. Together, we establish a romanticized, or idealized version of what every man hopes for. In part, I accomplish this by focusing my attention with deep compassion and empathy for what it is someone needs. Whatever they look like, act like or fantasize.  I suspend all judgements. My goal is to affirm people.

“Some of these men come from relationships that are dysfunctional or co-dependent where there has been sacrifice. Our experience acts as a counterpoint. It’s healing in that my client internalizes the kindness, compassion and tenderness we exchange then takes that into his own life and propagates it. Although I am not trained as a therapist, I always hope that the experience is a therapeutic one for my client. That doesn’t mean that it’s not sexy.

“I develop a bond with clients as regularly as might happen in real life and it’s as authentic as any that would happen outside of the situation. It grows from the cycle of freely giving and receiving that I work to establish. Being a man is demanding. Men have to prove they are men usually through aggressive behavior. When we are together, we can suspend that performance. Often I teach a client to receive. To let me take care of them. Most realize that intercourse is not what they want Affection and sensuality is what’s most meaningful to them. Kissing achieves that.

“Unfortunately, sex workers are marginalized and demonized on all fronts. I understand there are people who are hustlers — ‘gay for pay.’ They are often men who are self-loathing, emotionally inauthentic and inaccessible. Those kind of people exist in every profession. Some men are sadly attracted to the danger and potential self-destructiveness of encounters with these men.

“I want to bring attention to the fact that while sex workers have to constantly deal with society’s demonization of them, many are not self-hating. Personally, such ostracism reminds me to act with greater kindness and empathy towards everyone.”

It’s difficult not to continue the comparison between the goals and techniques of these sex workers and of psychotherapists — empathy, compassion, communication and connection, self-knowledge, affirmation and a corrective experience. Both experiences take place within a suspended reality where the relationship is limited to a prescribed time and place.

I remember sitting in the lobby of an office suite I once shared. Several patients sat on either side of me and I imagined what it would be like for them waiting for their session to start. My watch read 12:50 P.M. Suddenly, the doors of a dozen consultation rooms flung open. It was the end of the patients’ fifty-minute session. They were followed a minute later by nearly twelve therapists who came out for a stretch or bathroom break.

The image of sex workers standing outside their doors waiting for their next client in Amsterdam’s red-light district instantly came to mind.

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE: 

Stanley Siegel – Sex Worker or Therapist? | Psychology Tomorrow Magazine. July 2012 – Issue 1

Stanley Siegel, LCSW, is a psychotherapist, author, lecturer, and former Director of Education and Senior Faculty member of New York’s renowned Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy. With nearly 40 years of experience in the field of psychology, Siegel has developed a bold and unconventional approach to psychotherapy that has led to his most recent book, Your Brain on Sex: How Smarter Sex Can Change Your Life. Siegel has taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Adelphi University, and the University of California, Berkeley. Additionally, he was the founding director of the Family Studies Center in Huntington, New York, and has served as a consultant to hospitals and mental health centers throughout the country. The creator and writer of the “Families” column for Newsday, Siegel also co-authored two popular books: The Patient Who Cured His Therapist and Other Unconventional Stories Of Therapy and Uncharted Lives: Understanding The Life Passages Of Gay Men, both of which have been translated into 6 languages. His books serve as the basis for workshops around the country. Siegel has served as the review editor for two professional marital therapy journals, and his work with couples and families is the subject of two educational videos. Siegel’s lifelong interest in art has included a period during the mid-1990s as the Dance Editor for Showbusiness, in which he reviewed and reported on the dance scene in New York City. Siegel created the popular sex column Intelligent Lust for Psychology Today Magazine, which is now featured in this magazine. It also appears regularly throughout the Middle East in FitNStyle Magazine.

To learn more, visit www.stanley-siegel.com.

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